Recession or not, I’ll be damned if I walk out of the house looking busted. However, a visit to the spa is on the low rung of the financial totem pole for me and many others. In tough times, inventiveness is the best way to stay glamorous on a budget.

Is your fancy conditioner doing a number on your bank account? Instead of weighing hair down with chemicals and additives, go natural.

Mayonnaise is excellent for the hair. This condiment is full of proteins like eggs and oil, which add luster and shine to any ’do. Just pop open a jar of your favorite mayo after you shampoo, apply generously to the hair, working it into the ends.

For deep conditioning, cover your head with a shower cap for 10 minutes. Rinse the hair clean, then style as usual.

A cheap facial mask can also be found in your refrigerator. To counteract dry skin, mash up an avocado and apply to the face and neck. Leave on the skin for 20 minutes, then remove the residue with a warm, wet towel.

Need a good firming mask? Apply a thin coat of egg whites to the face and neck. Allow the egg to dry on the skin, then rinse with cool water 15 minutes later. The egg will suck up the excess oil, and the cold water will wash away the debris while closing the pores in the process.

Recently, I went makeup shopping with my best friend. She complained that she no longer has the money to buy her favorite shade of MAC nail polish. When I suggested that she pick up one of the discount brands at the drug store, she turned up her nose and refused.

But what my buddy and a lot of other people don’t realize is that many of the discount brands are owned by the same companies as the high end lines. Cosmetics giant Estée Lauder not only distributes MAC, but also Jane cosmetics (which is sold at places like Walgreens and Rite Aid).

Did you know that L’Oréal owns high end Lancome? You could save lots of coin by choosing a line with a lower price point that is still manufactured with the same high standards as its more expensive department store counterpart.

For a baby soft body, there’s only one way to go. Take a handful of raw sugar (purchased easily at stores like Trader Joe’s and Ralphs) and drop a dime-size amount of baby oil into the center. Gently rub the mixture onto wet skin then rinse.

The granules work as an exfoliant and contain alpha hydroxy acids, which remove dead cells from the skin’s surface. The mineral oil will replenish and refresh and also slow the acid effect.

If you’re aching for a mani/pedi, a quick trip to the produce section is all you need. Grab a couple of those clear bags that you drop your fruits and veggies into as well as a small jar of Vaseline.

Massage the Vaseline into the dry, cracked areas and cover with the bags, holding them in place with a rubber band. Take a nap or watch a movie, then uncover the hands and/or feet and wipe clean with a towel.

Finally, teeth whitening strips are all the rage, but they can break the bank. For a more cost-effective alternative, invest in a bottle of hydrogen peroxide from the 99¢ Only Store.

Before brushing, swish a tablespoon of peroxide in the mouth for one minute, then spit. Next, brush your teeth as you normally would with the whitening toothpaste of your choice. You’ll have a smile so bright, the word “bling” will be an understatement.